- By Matthew Odam American-Statesman Staff
A longtime member of the community in the Westlake area is looking for a new home. Michael and Susan Sexton, owners of Trianon Coffee in the West Woods Shopping Center, will see their lease expire at the end of this year. Michael Sexton says the shopping center’s new management company did not offer a chance for the Sextons, who have owned the shop since May 2013, to make a counteroffer.
New property managers, the Maryland-based First Washington Realty Inc., reached a new lease agreement with Summer Moon Coffee Bar , an Austin-based coffee shop that opened its first location on South First Street in 2002, serving wood-fire-roasted organic and fair trade coffee. The West Woods location will be the 10th for Summer Moon, which has shops throughout Austin and Texas.
Despite regularly meeting all their financial obligations and investing money into the shop last year, Michael Sexton says he believes Trianon was not allowed to stay because the strip mall’s new ownership wanted a shop with a different kind of appeal.
“We’re certainly being forced out,” said Sexton, who opened the shop with his wife, Susan, as an opportunity for their son, Joseph, to pursue a career in coffee. “We’re not shiny and bright enough for the new owners who came in.”
While Summer Moon, which is in expansion mode in the Austin area, will be moving into the space next year, co-owner Justin Terry made it clear that his business never lobbied to have Trianon removed.
“We wanted to be in Westlake, and we’ve been searching high and low,” Terry said. “We got a call from the owner of that building, and he informed us he would not be renewing that lease.”
Terry and his family own most of the existing and upcoming Summer Moon locations, though they do have a couple of licensees in the Austin area, as well as in markets like Frisco and San Antonio.
“We’re a mom-and-pop shop. We’re not a big bad corporation,” Terry said.
Norma and Edmond Bazerghi first opened Trianon in 1985 in the strip mall at Bee Caves Road and Walsh Tarlton Lane, and Michael Sexton gives the couple much of the credit for the business’ success.
“The foundation they put in is why the community loves the shop so much,” Sexton said.
Sexton also points to the Westlake and Rollingwood communities as integral parts of Trianon’s success and says that he and his family have always considered themselves stewards of the business, entrusted with the care by their longtime customers.
Though he acknowledges that five months is a very small window in which to find a new space in which he can re-open Trianon, Sexton says he has not given up hope.
“There’s always the chance you can get a miracle,” Sexton said. “You can never count that out.”
The Statesman has reached out to representatives of First Washington Realty Inc. for comment.
Amid the pomp and excitement of new upscale restaurants promoting concepts and design, Eldorado Cafe opened this week with the stated intention of bringing casual, approachable Tex-Mex food to North Austin.
Chef Joel Fried, whose lengthy resume lists more than 30 restaurants, including current and former Austin stalwarts like Vespaio and Bitter End, serves Mexican-inspired comfort food all day at the restaurant at 3300 W. Anderson Lane at Shoal Creek Boulevard.
The menu includes enchiladas, tortas and a selection of braised and roasted “guisos,” including pork green chili and Cuban-style carnitas. Breakfast features migas, short rib machacado, huevos rancheros, breakfast tacos and more.
“The idea for this place, a neighborhood spot where regular folks, friends and families could gather and enjoy good food, drinks and reconnect with each other, is everything we had in mind in opening this restaurant,” Fried said in a news release.
Eldorado Cafe is open Tuesday-Sunday from 7:30 a.m.to 9 p.m.
Austin’s charming patio cafe Cenote is all grown up. Owners opened a new, larger version of the cafe last week in the old Fran’s Hamburgers space at U.S .290 and Cameron Road.
The brunch scene has added a new member. The hip new Native hostel (807 E. Fourth St.), which is introducing boutique hotel appeal to the group-sleep game, has already been serving dinner and late-night eats and a pared-down breakfast menu to the public and last weekend rolled out brunch. Service runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and the menu includes a brisket taco, chilaquiles with veggie chorizo, cardamom French toast, and more.
One of the meatiest days of the year is on the horizon. Tickets are on sale for the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest . The Nov. 5 event at the Long Center celebrates the magazine’s Top 50 barbecue spots in the state and will feature grub from 31 Texas barbecue joints. It will sell out.
The roster of participating barbecue joints includes Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Llano), Franklin Barbecue (Austin), Lockhart Smokehouse (Dallas), and many more. Tickets cost $80, with VIP ticket-holders ($165) getting early entry and access to beverages, more food and shade.
In addition to the Sunday event, TMBBQ Fest will expand this year to include a separately ticketed brisket brunch on Saturday at Juliet ($85) and an already sold-out Saturday afternoon educational event called ‘Cue Course at Terry Black’s Barbecue from 2 to 5 p.m. Buy yickets and get more information at tmbbq.com.
Cochon 555 , the nationally touring celebration of all things pig, returns to Austin this weekend. The event at the Four Seasons pits about a half-dozen local chefs against each other as they turn whole heritage hogs into culinary delights. The competition group features host chef James Flowers of Trio at the Four Seasons, Clinton Kendall of East Side King, Evan Leroy of Leroy & Lewis, Sarah McIntosh of Epicerie, and Nick Yanes of Juniper.
In addition to the competition chefs, there will be other chefs serving tastings, as well a half-dozen winemakers, craft breweries and craft cocktails. General admission tickets for the 2 1/2 hour event cost $125, with VIP ticket holders ($200) getting early entry and complimentary cocktails, beer and wine. Buy tickets and find out more at cochon555.com.
In addition to the competition, there is also a food summit called Bespoke that explores the theme of food and movement.